A group of people toasting at Dirty Habit

Foodie's Guide to
Eating and Drinking in SoMa

Whether you’re in town for business, a convention, or just enjoying the city like a proper visitor, San Francisco’s SoMa (South of Market Street) neighborhood is full of quality restaurants. Here are some of our favorites.

Where to Eat

1601 Bar & Kitchen

1601 Howard St.

This under-the-radar Sri Lankan-inspired restaurant is truly a hidden gem—you’ll encounter fascinating flavors in elegantly executed dishes (don’t miss the egg hopper and mulligatawny soup), and the room has a modern and urban look to it. The experience over-delivers, and you’ll find quality wines (and beers) on the list.

54 Mint Ristorante

16 Mint Pl.

Come to 54 Mint for some of the city’s best Roman pastas, featuring classics like pasta all’amatriciana, carbonara, and cacio e pepe. Don’t miss the lamb chops and oxtail, either. The outdoor patio is perfect for an aperitivo and antipasti on a warm night, and the wine list features some unique Italian selections. The room has a welcoming style, ditto the friendly staff.

Alexander's Steakhouse

448 Brannan St.

One of the higher-end steakhouses in the city, this one has a strong Japanese influence, featuring ingredients like maitake mushrooms, Japanese Wagyu A5 grade beef sourced from almost 10 different places (astounding!), and a Matcha Soufflé. Their prime rib is also notable; ditto the deep wine cellar.

Marlowe

500 Brannan St.

Famed locally for its burger, Marlowe has a welcoming neighborhood bistro style that keeps people returning. Other hearty hits on the menu include their Brussels sprout chips, warm deviled eggs, and smoked bone marrow. It’s a busy spot for lunch and dinner, as well as weekend brunch. You’ll find plenty of snacks and cocktails at the bar as you wait for your table.

Palette

816 Folsom St.

Part restaurant/art gallery/artist studio/retail shop, Palette is an entire experience for your senses. Their cocktails may surprise you with uncommon combinations and the Chef's Tasting Menu ($185) is sure to satisfy all ocean lovers.

Prospect

300 Spear St.

A sister restaurant to the ever-adored BoulevardProspect feels more like a brother with its urban-masculine look. Popular for happy hour and dinner, the menu features well-thought-out dishes with a touch of French culinary elegance, highlighting the best local and seasonal ingredients. A friendly bar is an easy place for solo diners to enjoy a cocktail or perch for a full meal.

ROOH

333 Brannan St.

Nestled in the heart of the San Francisco Bay Area is ROOH, an urban, Indian-inspired restaurant and cocktail bar. A communal space for relaxed social dining, drawing inspiration from the vibrancy of the culture, art and music, as well as the innovative spirit of modern India.

Town Hall

342 Howard St.

This Southern-inspired spot always has high energy, partially fueled by its excellent Sazeracs. The fare at Town Hall is hearty, offering dishes like juicy fried chicken, grilled pork chop, and fried okra. It's an ideal spot for a business dinner that isn’t too serious, and is also fun for groups. Share the butterscotch and chocolate pot de crème for dessert and thank us later.

Where to Drink

Dirty Habit

12 Fourth St.

This place really packs in the flirty post-work crowd, drawn to the enclosed patio (it’s safely nestled from the wind on the fifth floor) and well-crafted cocktails. The menu at Dirty Habit features some of the city’s nicer bar snacks, from the incomparable wings to steamed buns with lamb belly, plus luxe dishes like foie gras and Robuchon potatoes with caviar. Larger dishes include aged rib-eye and smoked duck, so you won’t go hungry.

Press Club

20 Yerba Buena Lane

With it's sleek interior, downstairs lounge, and impressive wine collection, the Press Club is an after-work favorite or a great place to get together with friends. It's also the perfect space to cozy up with someone special and taste wines from around the world!


Marcia Gagliardi
Marcia Gagliardi

Marcia is the creator of tablehopper.com, a popular insider weekly e-column about the SF dining scene; subscribe for more news, tips, and updates. Follow her on Twitter: @tablehopper.